Natural History Museums Are Lying to You

We were shocked — shocked! — when we read the newest post by Ken Ham (ol’ Hambo) — the ayatollah of Appalachia, the world’s holiest man who knows more about religion and science than everyone else. It’s at the website of Answers in Genesis (AIG), his creationist ministry: Do Natural History Museums Display the Truth About Origins? Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us for emphasis, and occasional Curmudgeonly interjections that look [like this]:

Most natural history museums present an atheistic, evolutionary view of the origin of life. [That’s horrible!] Millions of dollars (often tax dollars!) are used to convince guests that fossils, rock layers, etc. are millions of years old and show an evolutionary progression from simple to complex life forms.

This is an outrage! Let’s see what else ol’ Hambo says:

But are these cleverly crafted exhibits telling the truth? That’s the question a brand-new film from Genesis Apologetics, Genesis Impact, seeks to answer.

Ooooooooooooh! What would we do without Hambo to tell us The Truth? After that amazing revelation he tells us:

This film looks at the top twelve evolutionary icons found in natural history museums around the world. Actors play the parts of a secular museum docent and a well-informed biblical creationist as they discuss evolutionary icons and whether there’s a better interpretation of the evidence than the evolutionary worldview.

What a clever idea! A smarty-pants creationist makes a museum guide look like an idiot. Hambo continues:

This exciting new film releases this month and is available to rent or buy on [Link Omitted!] Answers TV has over 2,000 Answers in Genesis videos, including science, nature, children, and adventure programs — and more are being added each week.

That’s a huge source of — ah, material. Let’s read on:

I encourage you to watch Genesis Impact. It will equip you to dismantle the top evolutionary icons and encourage you and your children to trust God’s Word [Hambo’s bold font] and recognize the flaws in evolutionary arguments.

Okay, skipping a bunch of promotional material, that’s the whole thing. You’ve probably already decided to watch the film, so when you click over there to make the purchase, tell ’em the Curmudgeon sent ya!

Copyright © 2020. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

28 responses to “Natural History Museums Are Lying to You

  1. Ham:
    “Actors play the parts of a secular museum docent and a well-informed biblical creationist as they discuss evolutionary icons and whether there’s a better interpretation of the evidence than the evolutionary worldview.

    Ok, Hambo, so on what evidence is your “better interpretation” based? (Scripture does not count as evidence, no matter how much you want it to be so.)

    We await your answer. We know you are a regular reader here; we’ve seen your comments under various pseudonyms.

  2. retiredsciguy, Hambo’s interpretation is better because it’s consistent with scripture. Haven’t you learned anything in all the time you’ve been here?

  3. Michael Fugate

    Apparently that apologetics site is run by a Human Resources consultant. They try mightily to hide that they have no one with science training on their staff. So you get an actor playing what a creationist layperson imagines a scientist would say. The truth indeed.

  4. Available for free if you are an Amazon Prime member!!

  5. chris schilling

    The professor in the ‘Genesis Impact’ trailer tells the doubting (but biblically equipped) student: “The Earth is billions of years old, which allows evolution to take place.”

    The Discoveroids dimly perceived the logic of this, recoiled from it, and took refuge in caginess when cornered during the Kansas Evolution hearings over their position on the Earth’s age.

    Meyer, Gauger and co. are the natural audience for whatever propaganda full-bore creationist outfits like AiG churn out. “Top twelve evolutionary icons” even sounds like something Jonathon Wells would say.

  6. It’s as crazy as the Jack Chick comic. Does even Ham think that anybody who is capable of connected thought will not realise that this is pure hokum? Actors, playing scientists playing patsies? Reciting scripted lines written from the outset to be refuted? What kinds of fools does he think his audience is?

    The answer is, the kind of fools who’d swallow this. And the terrible truth is, he’s right.

  7. “Actors play the parts of a secular museum docent.”
    These actors are creationists too, no doubt. So it’s guaranteed that scientific theories will be represented correctly {/sarcasm}.

    Hurry, dear fellow commenters. The movie is viewable for free. On it’s own website.

    As always an hour of creacrap is way too much for me, so I’ll leave it to others to watch this.

  8. @Chris Schilling, “The Discoveroids dimly perceived the logic of this, recoiled from it, and took refuge in caginess when cornered during the Kansas Evolution hearings over their position on the Earth’s age.”

    Do you have a link for this? I have long suspected that Meyer is an old Earth creationist but goes a considerable pains to evade the question, because of their alliance with Young Earth creationists.

    In the UK, it works the other way round. The director of our own Centre for Intelligent Design, a kind of DI branch office, is a young Earth creationist but conceals the fact for fear of ridicule.

    @Everyone, if anyone has suffered through that video, I think the rest of us would appreciate a list of the specimens chosen for discussion, and the arguments used. Or is there a transcript?

  9. And yet again, Ken Ham wins the coveted Oxymoron of the Week with this lapidary phrase:

    “well-informed biblical creationist”

  10. The Earth is billions of years old, which allows evolution to take place.
    It was realized before the 19th century that the Earth is much older than 10,000 or so years. This realization was not driven by acceptance of evolution.
    Even those in the 19th century who didn’t accept evolution accepted millions of years of Earth history. The 20th century evidence for a more precise age of the Earth, in the billlions of years, eventually came from physics, not biology.
    Young Earth Creationism is mostly an invention of the mid-20th century.

  11. @TomS, Even Kelvin (who really did believe in intelligent design, though for some strange reason he does not figure in the DIY pantheon) accepted tens of millions of years, although he gloated about the fact that his own 20 million upper limit for the sun was too short a time for Darwinian evolution

  12. Dave Luckett

    All right. The first ten minutes. Intro: troubled teen looking at hologram from his phone, so you know this is in the future. Friends are telling him evolution is true. Mother asks what’s wrong. Kid says the scientific evidence seems overwhelming. He doesn’t know what to believe. Wise mother said it once seemed that way to her, but then she went to the Natural History Museum, and what she found out…

    Flashback to present. Museum docent is presenting the evidence for human evolution. Mother, now a teenager, confronts him after the presentation, and starts in on the chimpanzee-human common genome, said to by 98% the same. Evidence for common descent, no? Er. No. Turns out the chimp genome is bigger than the human in terms of numbers of base pairs, by over 4%. They therefore can’t be only 2% different. The presenter says, well, they eliminated parts of both genomes to compare like to like, because… Wait, wait. Isn’t that cherry-picking? What happens if you compare the whole to the whole? Oh. Um. The commonality goes down to no more than 84%. Well, that’s a big difference, isn’t it? How could that much of a difference occur naturally, in only 6 million years? The presenter is, of course, stumped. And 84%? That’s no more in common that humans have with mice, or cows, or dogs. Simple engineering. For similar structures, similar design. Er… right. You know your stuff, says the presenter, with embarrassment. The audience starts filtering back in, because they hear the scientific fancy-pants is being put on the spot by an adolescent girl.

    We go on to fossil evidence. Ardipithecus, to be precise. The condition of the fossil was described – complete disarticulation and fragmentation, the bones crumbling into punk, the fragments found over an area 30 feet by 30. Reconstruction of the skull and what there is of the rest took over a decade. But says the presenter, we know that this animal, although it had a brain no larger than a bonobo, walked bipedally. The foramen magnum is on the underside of the skull. Oh? she asks. How do you know that? The skull was completely fragmented. No neck vertebrae. No vertebrae at all. Pelvis was reconstructed, and that supported upright walking… wait, wait. Reconstructed? How do you know this is the right construction? Are all the experts of one mind on this? Er…no. There are some who doubt that the reconstruction is accurate. So… when you look at it, the evidence for bipedalism in Ardipithecus pretty much evaporates, doesn’t it? It’s speculation, even exaggeration. And Ardi had short thumbs, curved hands, and grasping big toes. This is a tree-dweller, not a bipedal walker.

    So, on we go to Lucy. Australopithecus afarensis, that is.

    But it is at that point that I had to go wash out my brain. More anon, if I can stand it. We’re up to about the 17 minute mark. Perhaps a real, you know, scientist can comment on the insights presented..I am to biochemistry as Columbus was to the fusion reactor.

  13. @DaveL, Thanks, that’s enough to give the flavour. Regarding the chimp numbers, they are of course not comparing like with like. There are numerous Ardipithecus fossils, so the reconstructions are pretty robust. And you were quite right to stop watching

  14. chris schilling

    I believe the complete transcripts of the Kansas Evolution Hearings were available at TalkOrigins. It’s been a while since I looked at them — they’re long and involved, but worth ploughing through, at least for the juicy parts.

    Those who appeared and made the case for ID were all questioned, right out of the gate, as to their opinion on the age of the Earth. Practically to a man, they were all evasive, Meyer above all. He became quite testy.

  15. Thanks. I’ll chase them up. Which year (there mayhave been several)?

  16. And this week’s even more coveted medal–the one for Fortitude Above and Beyond the Call of Duty goes to Dave Luckett!

    In fact, to view 17 minutes of that film is likely a World Endurance Record, or something.

    You’re a better man than I am, Gunga Dave…

  17. Paul Braterman, I think the big year was 2005 — see Kansas Flashback: The Crazy Days. The first link there is to a Wikipedia article on the subject: Kansas evolution hearings.

  18. Happy ending.Wikipedia: “On August 1, 2006, 4 of the 6 conservative Republicans who approved the Critical Analysis of Evolution classroom standards lost their seats in a primary election. The moderate Republican and liberal Democrats gaining seats, largely supported by Governor Kathleen Sebelius, vowed to overturn the 2005 school science standards and adopt those recommended by a State Board Science Hearing Committee that were rejected by the previous board…. On February 13, 2007, the Board voted 6 to 4 to reject the amended science standards enacted in 2005. The definition of science was once again returned to “the search for natural explanations for what is observed in the universe.” “

  19. Michael Fugate

    I wonder if the teenager in the movie mentioned Ham’s hyper-evolution after the flood. How can 6My not be enough time, but 4000y be plenty?

  20. Like Mega I cannot help but admiring DaveL for his stamina. Seventeen minutes …..

  21. “Simple engineering.”
    Do they actually say that?
    That God is actually an engineer, working with material according to the laws of nature?

  22. Apologies for my pedantry here, but I’ve got to call out another semantic error Ken Ham makes, to wit:

    Most natural history museums present an atheistic, evolutionary view of the origin of life.

    No, all ‘natural history museums’ that deal with origins at all present science.

    Hambo’s Creation Museum is an Unnatural History Museum…

  23. FrankB shares my admiration:

    Seventeen minutes …..

    That’s only a minute less than the celebrated missing gap in Nixon’s Watergate tapes!

  24. TomS: Yes. they said that..

    Thanks to all for the kind words. I wish to claim the Extinguished Surface Medal, because I watched all of it, an agony in seven fits; about an hour of piled higher and deeper.

    It got worse from that point on. I mean, I wouldn’t know from genome comparisons, but the rest was pretty familiar. Glossy, mind you. The last fifteen minutes was a numbing cascade of ancient clunkers, shot with geritol, gussied up in spandex and sent out again, like an army of the recreant undead. The whole thing was lipstick on a mummy, and I don’t mean a yummy one.

    Mt St Helens debunks radiometric dating! And oh my stars, they’re surely not going to trot out the human eye again… they are, for the love of Mike. And the blood clotting cascade! In its full original plumage, yet. A complete set, with the original toolbox and in the original packing, mint.

    It should be a collector’s item, the sort of thing offered in discreet sales to wealthy connoisseurs, between the only remaining 1967 life-sized anatomically correct Barbie doll (with the warm water inlet) and the Faberge Easter egg the Czar gave Mary Pickford for “services unspeakable”. But no. There’s no current market. You can’t give the stuff away. Or at least, I hope not.

  25. Fun fact! Thanks to the Designer’s holy designing of the blood clotting cascade, I’m probably going to die of a platelet clot before I’m 70! Blessed be He!

  26. I petition the almighty Armadillo who sniffs upon us all to correct my prior comment to “platelet clot,” as the designer of the post intended it to be.

    [Voice from above:] Your wish has been granted, but not by an armadillo!

  27. Michael Fugate

    Just wondering, would a car, a truck, a train, a plane, a helicopter, a boat, a ship, a submarine, etc. all have 84% similarity in parts?

  28. They are all made up of neutrons, protons and electrons.